Who owns a baby?” This is the case of Mary Beth Whitehead who signed a contract with a New Jersey couple, agreeing to be a surrogate mother in exchange for a payment of $10,000. However, after the baby was born, Ms. Whitehead decided to keep the baby, and this issue ended up in court.

Please notice how Prof. Sandel and students contemplate issues like egg and sperm donation, surrogacy, dehumanization, violation of autonomy, and coercion.

Click on the link below to watch the case:

Motherhood for Sale

Watch clip: 33:00-End

  1. Autonomy is a topic that comes back in this chapter. What are the ethical issues relating to autonomy for the surrogate mother in this case?
  2. Provide your own thoughts and considerations to the issues of reproductive technologies discussed in the video. You may cite one example of your choice.
  3. In your own words, describe the gap between the advances of surrogacy and reproductive technologies and the moral decisions they will generate.